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And it’s half term holiday again !

Posted by Big John on October 20, 2011

My education started in 1945 and ended in 1955 and I can’t remember if during that time I ever played truant from school or “hopped the wag” as it was called in those days.

Now I read that around 65,000 pupils of all ages miss school without permission on a typical day through truancy, family holidays, illness etc.

Whatever happened to the much feared school board man who stalked the streets in my young days looking out for anyone “bunking off” school ? I suppose that he would be prosecuted for assault if he was around today and gave someone’s little angel a clip ’round the ear or a kick up the arse as he dragged them through the school gates on their way to a “jolly good thrashing” from some sadist masquerading as a teacher. Umm ! .. I think that I might have remembered that, so now I’m almost sure that I never “played hooky”: or if I did I never got caught.

OK, so my little trip down ‘memory lane’ may have little to do with the world in which we live today, but it does remind me, once again, that in the field of education, as in so many areas concerning the young, no one has a bloody clue how to improve the situation. 

Sadly too many children leave school today with poor literacy and numeracy skills, whilst those with ADHD the naughty ones are “drugged up to the eyeballs” because they cannot sit still in class: and now it seems that as many as one in five young pupils are judged to have special needs, and school inspectors have warned that “as many as half of the children with certain categories of problems were wrongly labelled to disguise poor teaching”.

Now I’m sure that there are some pretty good teachers around today, although those who appear being interviewed on TV in no way resemble the ones I once respected or the few whom I feared.

Perhaps it’s that, these days, education is all about .. government targets .. interfering managers .. bureaucracy .. league tables .. and .. Ofsted, who have now come up with the bright idea of getting parents to do their job for them by getting those same parents to rate schools on a new website .. “Parent View” .. Oh! and guess what ? .. The ratings will be completely anonymous and open to abuse as it will allow parents and pupils with a grudge against schools to make unfounded claims. I’m sure those with poor parenting skills who’s kids “do a runner” from school every day will be queuing up to get on line.

As I said earlier …

…   not a bloody clue !


4 Responses to “And it’s half term holiday again !”

  1. Betty said

    When I was in 6th grade, a group of my classmates decided to play hookey one day. They ran off and hid in a small stand of trees next to the school, and when they were caught, they were dealt with harshly. My parents beamed at me with pride that I had been upstanding enough to stay in school. My dad, curious, asked, “What made you decide not to go with them, honey?” Their smiles quickly faded when I answered, “They didn’t ask me.”

  2. Ginnie said

    I understand very little that goes on today under the guise of “education”. Maybe I was a “geek” but I loved school and playing hookey was never an option with me.

  3. Rummuser said

    In India, at least in the urban and semi urban areas, among the middle class families, you will not find this phenomenon. Society is now highly competitive and parents have become very careful that their children do not miss out, when the cost of education is also very high. I wonder if this is due to the absence of a welfare state situation here. This may be of interest to you –

  4. Red Baron said

    I hated school when I was young and only appreciate education now. I was classified ‘Educationally Sub-Normal’ which is how dyslexia was referred to in those days. I’ve heard a lot of shite (including from some MP in Burnley or thereabouts) saying that dyslexia is a phantom condition because you never heard of people having it years ago (sic.) The difference in later life with Spell Checkers, Screen Readers, Colour Inverters and such like makes a huge difference, not to mention enabling people to blend in rather than stand out, something very important to kids at school. You cannot expect children to appreciate education at the time but if you don’t give them an environment where they can at least feel comfortable then you’ve no chance. That is not to say being soft on any of them, once you give a proper nurturing and educational environment then discipline is a hand in hand factor and can be implemented but you got to keep them in school to teach discipline in the first place.

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